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What is a GTIN?

by Joanna Foyle on 16 Apr 2020
Topics Google Shopping Share:

What is a GTIN?

A GTIN is the Global Trade Item Number that is used globally to identify the product. It brings all the systems into one place to make sure that everyone is following the same structure set by Google. The GTIN will appear on the product in the form of the bar code.


What are the different types of GTIN?

The GTIN would be of 8, 12, 13 and 14 digits in length. It is a number that is represented on a bar code. Different types of GTINs are available in the market. However, the type depends on where the product is originating from, and what kind of product.

The legacy systems must abide by the GTIN standards that are updated frequently. The best example of this is the ISBN. The ISBN is the number that is given for books to identify them. The ISBN is a 10-digit number that is as per the GTIN standards. However, you can convert this number into 13 digits.

Different types of GTIN that are available include:

The types of GTINs that are in use:

Every GTIN- irrespective of the digitals- will follow the same kind of structure. The structure starts with the prefix of the company, reference of the item and a check digit. If you were using GTIN-14, then there would be additional packaging level indicator. This would indicate whether the product is an item or a case.

The GTIN -8, GTIN -12, GTIN-13 are also represented in the form of GTIN-14. On the left side, the rest of the numbers would be filled with zeros. For example, if the GTIN-12 for a product is 123456789123, then it becomes 00123456789123. This will be the format of GTIN-14. Two extra zeros have been added to the left of the GTIN-12 number to make it GTIN-14.

What is the significance of using GTIN in eCommerce?

Many comparison search engines are using GTINs to print on their products. They maintain the databases of the products that have GTINs globally. When you want to run a campaign on these platforms and upload the data feed, it is mandated for the product to have GTIN. If there is no GTIN, or the GTIN that you have provided for the product is wrong, then you cannot upload the product to the product data feed and so it rejects the product.

There are many benefits that the product platforms such as Google Shopping and Amazon marketplace can reap by using a GTIN, these include:

Besides the retailers, the customers can also reap the benefits when vendors, search engines and comparison shopping engines would use GTIN for the products listed on their respective platforms:

What happens when there is no GTIN for a product?

Some products do not have a GTIN. Examples of such products include handicrafts, artworks and other vintage items. However, the platforms that are allowing people to sell these products have a procedure to deal regulate them. In Google shopping, you can see an identifier exist field. If the product has no GTIN, you can set this checkbox to false.

Usage of GTINs

Few products have no GTIN. However, by having GTIN, it helps manufacturers, retailers, search engines and other platforms to boost the conversions and offer a great shopping experience to the customers.